The Kings River East Groundwater Sustainability Agency held its Thursday, January 17, 2019 board of directors meeting at the Dinuba City Council chambers. It was raining at my house when I left but things had dried out some by the time I got to Dinuba. But more rain is forecast. Former Chairman and Tulare County Supervisor Steve Worthley has retired from office and Eddie Valero has taken his place. Director Mary Fast called the meeting to order at 2:00 pm. We all saluted the flag and there was no potential conflicts nor actual conflicts of interest.
Under Public Comment an engineer from Sacramento (didn’t get his name) informed the board he is working with Provost & Pritchard in CV Salts groundwater remediation efforts. Scott Harness, former mayor of Dinuba invited the KREGSA board to a non-partisan business organization gathering. That was nice of him. The minutes were approved and there were no communications to report.
General Manager Chad Wegley and attorney Lauren Layne told the board every January board officers the GSA need to be elected by the board. Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes was nominated and won unanimously. Mendes serves on at least three other GSAs: the North Fork Kings GSA, the Delta Mendota GSA and the McMullin Area GSA. He also farms in three different irrigation districts. In total he sits on 18 boards and commissions. Fast was reelected vice chair and Jack Brandt remained secretary. So, the board officers are in place.
A resolution honoring Worthley’s contributions on the board was passed. Mendes has served on several boards with Worthley and praised him as, “. . . the finest local elected officials in the state in past 20-years.”
Controller Marc Limas gave the financial reports. The board approved the reports and paid its bills. KREGSA has closed its account with Bank of the Sierra and opened with Rabobank. Worthley was taken off the account and Mendes will be added.
Wegley spoke to the board about management zones and how getting too many it could become unwieldly. He said some of the underground flows leaving KREGSA goes to the Mid Kaweah GSA and the land where this is happening the most is in Alta Irrigation District. If that land were annexed to the Kings River East there might not be enough underground flow to count. Getting monitoring wells in place is grinding to a very slow pace thanks to government inertia. High Speed Rail seems to be the only project moving forward with any speed. How corrupt? California corrupt.
Just When You Tough it was Safe to Go Back Into the Water
Richard Meyerhoff, PhD GEI Consultants handed out five sheets to follow. He said he’s worked with CV Salts for more than seven years having seen it go from stakeholder controlled to study to implementation. He said the salt and nitrate control program should take effect in July. There are three goals; safe drinking water, balanced salt and nitrate and implement long-term managed aquifer restoration. He said he’s not going to speak to salt but only nitrates. The Kings River Sub Basin is a high priority area and will be addressed first in the state. Management zones are the most likely process to achieve compliance. He said management zones are a relatively new method of dealing with groundwater. He gave a lot of information with many acronyms. It was not easy to follow. Not impossible but not easy. There is a two-year deadline 2020-2022 to get the plans together. This is much like SGMA in the state mandates results but allows “local” control to achieve the results. A Preliminary Management Zone Proposal – PMZP and a Final Management Zone Proposal – FMZP will be required in two-years. Meyerhoff said Alta ID has been used as a guinea pig for CV Salts. This is a good area for a pilot project according to the state. He’s looking for decision makers ideally to attend these new meetings. The next step is to organize management zones and inform the residents. The maximum contamination of nitrates is 10 parts per million. This is enough to cause “blue baby” syndrome. No one in this room is aware of any case of anyone harmed by nitrates in groundwater in the area. Fergus Morrisey, GM Orange Cove ID said the amount of water in this aquifer used for drinking water is so minute as a percentage of the total as to make the ROI to be scary.
Layne announced a new year requires new certificates and Form 700 and the other hoops to jump through. She will be at the ACWA State Legislation committee in February so she’ll have more updates soon. That was that.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2019 by Don A. Wright
SGMA The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 calls for the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Areas within Basins and Sub-basins to develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans.
Kings River East GSA Board – Eddie Valero Tulare County, Vice Chair Mary Fast, Chairman Buddy Mendes Fresno County, Fernando Rubalcaba Special Districts Drinking Water, David Brown Special Districts Irrigation Water, Jack Brandt Alta Irrigation District and Steve Boos Ag Production. General Manager Chad Wegley, Attorney Lauren Layne